Apple TV vs Amazon Firestick

Matte2

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Original poster
May 31, 2014
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What are the main differences between an Apple TV and an Amazon Firestick? Why is the Apple TV over $100 more? I own an Amazon Firestick and was wondering what the advantages would be in owning an Apple TV?
 
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FarmerBob

macrumors regular
Aug 15, 2004
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One of the ways that you can really be sure is to find a site that allows you to do a side by side comparison of the two. I have the TV 4K and although it's severely Applecentric, I have no problems accessing Amazon Prime and even the subchannels. And it is fully integrated, including its subchannels in the TV Tile. Navigating through things can be tedious. The only things that I would be Audio/Video output quality and capability for each device. The TV now support Dolby Vision and it you set it correctly it will cover all the bases and assimilate as you change what you're viewing and how it's presented. I have yet to see an TV not work with any TV. Whereas, I have seen TV's not function not well or at all with the Firestick. So far I have been able to filter out, by ignoring or having learned the trick to navigating past the new TV+ stuff since there really isn't anyhting there for me, yet . . . As far as I am concerned the TV is a tool that has and is ever evolving with Tech and Programming Features . . .

I see the Firestick as something you do cuz you're a PrimeTard, as I am and they have a mind boggling array of programming; as the TV is something you do cuz you're a MacTard, and I have been since the 80's. But their programming has yet to really prove itself. Except for a couple programs that have gone through the roof.

I went looking for a new higher end TV to day and am seeing a lot the OS's that run these TV's either take a lot of what these devices do and have it natively in the set which I would consider there is a far better integration of the app and its capabilities or actually have the "Firestick" as a widget. This change so quickly that the second you decide what to by, it's obsolete . . .

OR JUST GET THEM BOTH, draw a big circle on the calendar when each one has to be returned by and "Go To Town" and do your own hands on comparison. And if you Blog, you might even get some traffic with a report and reviews! . . .

I hope this helps and "Good Luck!!"
. . . fb
 

nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
4,296
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What are the main differences between an Apple TV and an Amazon Firestick? Why is the Apple TV over $100 more? I own an Amazon Firestick and was wondering what the advantages would be in owning an Apple TV?
In terms of hardware differences:
  • Built-in ethernet ($15 option on Fire TV Stick)
  • 32 GB or 64 GB storage (vs. 8 GB)
  • Smoother experience, thanks to faster processor
More significantly, comparing Apple TV to Fire Stick is like comparing iPhone to Android. Sure, Android is cheaper and tecjnically can do the job. But it comes at the expense of user privacy and user experience. And only Apple TV offers full integration Apple ecosystem, such as:
  • Apple Arcade subscription (cross platform between Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, and Mac)
  • iTunes purchases and rentals
  • Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision from Apple TV+ and iTunes purchases and rentals
  • Access to wider range of third party streaming apps
  • Best in class Disney+ experience (Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos)
  • Apple TV Channels provide superior experience than Amazon Prime Channels
  • Apple TV can act as a HomeKit hub and can process Secure Video for supported cameras
  • AirPlay 2, HomeKit (can output audio to AirPlay 2 speakers, including HomePod)
 

BODYBUILDERPAUL

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Feb 9, 2009
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As with everything in life, there's cheap and then there's quality. Choice of components, long lasting, more reliable streaming, less impact on the environment, a beautiful user experience or a bad one, security or lack of it, users data, user ignorance etc.

As with all Apple products, the Apple TV 4K performs with style, class and grace. Its elegance shines.

This YouTube video offers a great explanation too (although it's comparing the ATV to the more expensive Amazon offering rather than the stick).
- - Post merged: - -
 

MattG

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2003
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Asheville, NC
What are the main differences between an Apple TV and an Amazon Firestick? Why is the Apple TV over $100 more? I own an Amazon Firestick and was wondering what the advantages would be in owning an Apple TV?
The Apple TV is over $100 more because it's Apple, and that means you pay the "Apple tax."

I had three Apple TVs and eventually sold them all, replacing them with Firesticks. The Apple TV interface was slow and kept crashing on me, the remote is utter trash, and I just got frustrated with the whole experience; as far as I'm concerned the Apple TV project never moved out of that "hobby" status that Steve Jobs first described it as being. The Firestick does everything I need. It's got a quick, well-organized interface, and now that there's an AppleTV App that you can download on the Firestick, I can use it to watch all the iTunes Store content that I've bought over the years.
 

Rigby

macrumors 601
Aug 5, 2008
4,867
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San Jose, CA
What are the main differences between an Apple TV and an Amazon Firestick? Why is the Apple TV over $100 more? I own an Amazon Firestick and was wondering what the advantages would be in owning an Apple TV?
The Apple TV has far more powerful CPU and GPU. Doesn't matter for video playback, but games look much better on the ATV (almost console quality). But more important than the hardware differences is probably the software. For example, if you use the Apple TV app, the Amazon version is more limited (doesn't support iTunes extras, does not integrate the watchlist with apps such as Hulu or Amazon Video (!)). ATV has integration with iOS devices (e.g. text entry, remote control using Apple Watch, initial setup and more). There are also Apple TV apps that have no good equivalent on the Firestick (e.g. Infuse). Finally I find the remote with the touchpad much superior to traditional button-based ones for navigating lists and "scrubbing" within a movie.

It really mostly depends on what software and services you plan to use and what ecosystem you're in.
 
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BODYBUILDERPAUL

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The Apple TV is over $100 more because it's Apple, and that means you pay the "Apple tax."

I had three Apple TVs and eventually sold them all, replacing them with Firesticks. The Apple TV interface was slow and kept crashing on me, the remote is utter trash, and I just got frustrated with the whole experience; as far as I'm concerned the Apple TV project never moved out of that "hobby" status that Steve Jobs first described it as being. The Firestick does everything I need. It's got a quick, well-organized interface, and now that there's an AppleTV App that you can download on the Firestick, I can use it to watch all the iTunes Store content that I've bought over the years.
You're paid by Amazon to say that right?

Having used Apple TV since 2010, I've yet to have a 'crash'. Are you sure that you are not an Apple hater? Your experience sounds highly unlikely.
 

MattG

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May 27, 2003
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You're paid by Amazon to say that right?

Having used Apple TV since 2010, I've yet to have a 'crash'. Are you sure that you are not an Apple hater? Your experience sounds highly unlikely.
"As with all Apple products, the Apple TV 4K performs with style, class and grace."

Are you paid by Apple to shill their products and post something completely hyperbolic sounding every time someone asks about Apple TV? You sound like a used car salesman. Looking at your post history, that's pretty much what all of them sound like.

I've been using Apple products for 20 years, and I use the best tool for the job. My wife and I both have iPhones, an iPad, AirPods, and we're about to purchase an iMac. There are some things Apple does well, and some things they don't. I had Apple TVs (several generations) for many years, and I finally gave up on it after it didn't get the attention it deserved from Apple. My experience with the Firestick is infinitely better than Apple TV, and just because something comes in a shiny $200 box doesn't mean it works better than the competing product.
 
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bigjnyc

macrumors 603
Apr 10, 2008
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I have 2 of each in my house. 2 apple tv's 4k, a firestick and a tv with firestick built in.

For me the main difference is the interface. the Apple tv is very clean and simple whereas the firestick is very cluttered and not as intuitive. But other than that once you are in an app it's pretty much the same thing to be honest.

Also the integration in to the apple system and airplay is nice with the Apple tv.
 

mallbritton

macrumors 6502a
Nov 26, 2006
721
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More significantly, comparing Apple TV to Fire Stick is like comparing iPhone to Android. Sure, Android is cheaper and tecjnically can do the job. But it comes at the expense of user privacy and user experience.
This.
 

jzuena

macrumors 65816
Feb 21, 2007
1,018
46
We don’t have Apple TVs but do have Firesticks and Roku. Amazon has gimped the Music app (the free one you get with Prime) on Roku and knowing them, probably on Apple TV as well. You can only listen to your purchases on Roku, but can listen to all free music content on Firestick. Maybe they lift that restriction if you buy their Music+ service, but we don’t know. As has already been said, Amazon's interface is cluttered.

On the plus side, Apple TV+ content works every time on Firestick and is a major pain on Roku. Hopefully, Apple TV+ content works every time on Apple TV as well.
 

BODYBUILDERPAUL

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Feb 9, 2009
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"As with all Apple products, the Apple TV 4K performs with style, class and grace."

Are you paid by Apple to shill their products and post something completely hyperbolic sounding every time someone asks about Apple TV? You sound like a used car salesman. Looking at your post history, that's pretty much what all of them sound like.

I've been using Apple products for 20 years, and I use the best tool for the job. My wife and I both have iPhones, an iPad, AirPods, and we're about to purchase an iMac. There are some things Apple does well, and some things they don't. I had Apple TVs (several generations) for many years, and I finally gave up on it after it didn't get the attention it deserved from Apple. My experience with the Firestick is infinitely better than Apple TV, and just because something comes in a shiny $200 box doesn't mean it works better than the competing product.
Whatever floats your boat but comparing an Amazon stick - a product that uses the most appalling of software, zero security and cheap components to something that has been made with quality is rather insulting. You really cannot get any lower in quality than an Amazon Fire product. They are an absolute disgrace and bought by rather clueless, highly ignorant users.
 

jole26

macrumors member
Aug 20, 2018
39
19
Whatever floats your boat but comparing an Amazon stick - a product that uses the most appalling of software, zero security and cheap components to something that has been made with quality is rather insulting. You really cannot get any lower in quality than an Amazon Fire product. They are an absolute disgrace and bought by rather clueless, highly ignorant users.
Why do you continually throw out these insults? I have an apple tv and a firestick. Both have pros and cons. Both are better and worse at some things.

I'm neither clueless nor ignorant.
 
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MattG

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2003
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Asheville, NC
Whatever floats your boat but comparing an Amazon stick - a product that uses the most appalling of software, zero security and cheap components to something that has been made with quality is rather insulting. You really cannot get any lower in quality than an Amazon Fire product. They are an absolute disgrace and bought by rather clueless, highly ignorant users.
Sure, champ. I'm a Computer Information Technology major with two decades of experience working in the technology industry, and have actually bought and tested most of these products that you bash, but I'm the ignorant one.

You are seriously the WORST kind of Apple user. The reason so many people don't take Apple or Apple users like myself seriously when we say they have some good products is because guys like you sound like you belong to some kind of cult.
 

vertical smile

macrumors 601
Sep 23, 2014
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I own every generation of ATV, a few firesticks, a firetv, and chromecast, and have used my TV's built-in Roku.

The ATV4K and tvOS is far better than the others at almost everything.

I hate using the Chromecast and it sits in one of my tech drawers.

My Firesticks are painfully slow, and horrible UI, but once in the common apps, such as Netflix, the experience is almost identical to the tvOS.

The same goes for the FireTV, except it is noticeably faster than the Firesticks.

The Roku is much faster than the Fire-devices, and once in the apps it is a similar experience to the tvOS, but the UI is horrible and something that you would expect from a device from 15-20 years ago.

The Apple TV 4K is the fastest with the best, more user-friendly UI, and has many apps to choose from in the tvOS App Store, but it is much more expensive that the other devices, and once in a common app, such as Netflix or Hulu, there is little difference in the experience from one device to the next.

I still highly recommend the ATV4K, but I see the appeal of spending a fraction of the price for a device that is pretty similar once in the common apps.
 

vertical smile

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Sep 23, 2014
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Another thought, if you have multiple TVs, and you are looking for devices to use on all of them, try an ATV4K on the main one, and use a cheaper device, such as a firestick on the other TVs.

This is what I did for my parents in the summer of 2018 when I got them to cut the cord. There was a learning curve for my baby boomer parents, but once they got the hang of it, they much rather use their ATV4K over their three Firesticks and Roku Smart TV that were in their bedrooms and second living room.

My parents liked the ATV and tvOS so much that they ended up recently getting a refurbished ATV4K to put in their second living room on a brand new OLED TV they purchased.

Also, if you do end up getting an ATV, make sure it is an ATV4K and the ATV4 (HD). I think the ATV4 is under-powered and over-priced. Even if you do not have a 4K TV, the ATV4K is well worth the price.
 

barnetty

macrumors member
Jun 14, 2011
54
0
I have both i mainly use the Apple TV 4K for 90% of the content that may available on both as everything runs smoother, apps are better designed and a lot easier to use (plus you can sync your airpods to it for when everyone is asleep at the house).

In turn my firestick is my backup for when the app is not available on apple tv. Sometimes the app decides not to run on apple tv so i switch over to the fire stick.

Another thing is side loading android apps into the fire stick like a Direct TV app which is only available on mobile or tablets.

Finally, depending on your TV since the apple tv 4k provides some HDR content using Dolby Vision if your tv does not have it but only HDR10 then it will be converted and sometimes HDR content might look better using the firestick (or the Tvs integrated app if available). Oh...and a little thing called VPN.
 

realeric

macrumors 65816
Jun 19, 2009
1,046
1,294
United States
Fire TV 4K:
- Cheap
- Youtube 4K

Apple TV 4K:
- Touchpad remote (I won't trade this for anything else)
- Snappier.
- Intuitive UI.
- No Youtube 4K (pain in the ass)

4K Smart TV:
- No additional cost.
- Youtube 4K.
- Junky UI.
- Painfully slow.

2019 samsung UHD smart TV in my home can do all things but I'm using the Apple TV 4K for the touchpad in the Siri remote. The tv is painfully slow and all of remote apps in App store are suck. Fire TV do much better than the junky smart tv processor but I couldn't live without the touchpad. Youtube 4K is a big pain but I can use the smart tv app for that.
 

coops

macrumors regular
Sep 10, 2009
206
12

There's previous also:-

https://www.flatpanelshd.com/news.php?subaction=showfull&id=1571722074

""Over-the-Top streaming devices such as Roku and Amazon Fire TV, which currently sell between for $30 to $100, are cheap alternatives to smart TVs for cord-cutters. Instead of charging more for the hardware or the membership, Roku and Amazon Fire TV monetize their platforms through advertisements, which rely on tracking users’ viewing habits," said Hooman Mohajeri Moghaddam, one of the authors of the study by Princeton University."

"Google's tracker appeared on 975 of the top 1000 Roku apps, while Amazon's tracker appeared on 687 of the top 1000 Amazon Fire TV apps. However, many others trackers also ranked prominently across apps.
  1. - "Out of 100 randomly selected channels on Roku and Amazon, we found 9 channels on Roku (e.g., “CBS News” and “News 5 Cleveland WEWS”) and 14 channels on the Fire TV (e.g., “NBC News” and “Travel Channel”) that leaked the title of the video to a tracking domain. On Roku, all video titles were leaked over unencrypted connections, exposing user video history to eavesdroppers. On Fire TV, only two channels (NBC News and WRAL) used an unencrypted connection when sending the title to tracking domains.""

  2. oh, and by the way:-

  3. " "OTT platforms provide privacy options that purport to limit tracking on their devices: “Limit Ad Tracking” on Roku and ”Disable Interest-based Ads” on Amazon Fire TV. Our measurements show that these privacy options fall short of preventing tracking.
  4. Turning on these options did not change the number of trackers contacted."
 

yegon

macrumors 68030
Oct 20, 2007
2,742
848
I was disappointed to learn the Firestick 4K doesn’t (currently) support Dolby Vision & Atmos with ATV+ as I already have a Dolby Vision/Atmos setup, so I bit the bullet and finally bought a ATV 4K. I say bit the bullet because I’ve been waiting patiently for ages in case they refreshed the hardware, but I gave up holding on.

Bought it Black Friday from the Apple Store, got the £25 store voucher (or whatever the amount was) , and I was surprised to find I got a years free Apple TV+ with it, huh! I knew this came with new iPhones etc, wasn’t aware it came with purchases of Apple TV 4K? Not complaining. £25 voucher, plus the £60 I save on not having to sub Apple TV+ for a year (which I would have paid for) takes the sting out of buying “old” hardware.

Very happy with it over the Firestick. I like how I can declutter the home screen to the few apps I’ll actually use, all so much more elegant.

After hearing so many bad things about the remote, I’m pleasantly surprised, it’s fine and I’ve come to actually like it! Bought a rubber case for it off Amazon, negates all the issues I’d likely have with it being so small, slim and easy to pick up the wrong way around. Normally I’d never put a remote in a case lol, I’m caseless for everything.

The OS on my LG is actually good, but there’s the absence of a Apple TV+ app, and having Airplay again is nice (had a 1080p ATV years ago). I’ve wanted to disconnect my LG from the network for ages. It periodically gets updated. I’m completely happy with it as a dumb panel so I’m glad to completely remove the possibility of a rogue update that will lessen the image quality, slow down the OS or worse, brick it.

There’s also the privacy/hacking issue, traditionally dumb appliances that are now IOT are very low hanging fruit. The less devices that have my Apple,Prime & Netflix accounts the better.
 
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BODYBUILDERPAUL

macrumors 68000
Feb 9, 2009
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There's previous also:-

https://www.flatpanelshd.com/news.php?subaction=showfull&id=1571722074

""Over-the-Top streaming devices such as Roku and Amazon Fire TV, which currently sell between for $30 to $100, are cheap alternatives to smart TVs for cord-cutters. Instead of charging more for the hardware or the membership, Roku and Amazon Fire TV monetize their platforms through advertisements, which rely on tracking users’ viewing habits," said Hooman Mohajeri Moghaddam, one of the authors of the study by Princeton University."

"Google's tracker appeared on 975 of the top 1000 Roku apps, while Amazon's tracker appeared on 687 of the top 1000 Amazon Fire TV apps. However, many others trackers also ranked prominently across apps.
  1. - "Out of 100 randomly selected channels on Roku and Amazon, we found 9 channels on Roku (e.g., “CBS News” and “News 5 Cleveland WEWS”) and 14 channels on the Fire TV (e.g., “NBC News” and “Travel Channel”) that leaked the title of the video to a tracking domain. On Roku, all video titles were leaked over unencrypted connections, exposing user video history to eavesdroppers. On Fire TV, only two channels (NBC News and WRAL) used an unencrypted connection when sending the title to tracking domains.""

  2. oh, and by the way:-

  3. " "OTT platforms provide privacy options that purport to limit tracking on their devices: “Limit Ad Tracking” on Roku and ”Disable Interest-based Ads” on Amazon Fire TV. Our measurements show that these privacy options fall short of preventing tracking.
  4. Turning on these options did not change the number of trackers contacted."
And yet, people question why the Apple TV is so 'expensive' and that the Amazon FireCrap or Google does more.
There is ALWAYS a reason when something is 'dirt' cheap. Great performing and honest technology is not cheap. If it's £40 and then heavily discounted, there is ONE reason. That reason is YOU are the product!
But then again, so many people just can't understand this.
- - Post merged: - -

I was disappointed to learn the Firestick 4K doesn’t (currently) support Dolby Vision & Atmos with ATV+ as I already have a Dolby Vision/Atmos setup, so I bit the bullet and finally bought a ATV 4K. I say bit the bullet because I’ve been waiting patiently for ages in case they refreshed the hardware, but I gave up holding on.

Bought it Black Friday from the Apple Store, got the £25 store voucher (or whatever the amount was) , and I was surprised to find I got a years free Apple TV+ with it, huh! I knew this came with new iPhones etc, wasn’t aware it came with purchases of Apple TV 4K? Not complaining. £25 voucher, plus the £60 I save on not having to sub Apple TV+ for a year (which I would have paid for) takes the sting out of buying “old” hardware.

Very happy with it over the Firestick. I like how I can declutter the home screen to the few apps I’ll actually use, all so much more elegant.

After hearing so many bad things about the remote, I’m pleasantly surprised, it’s fine and I’ve come to actually like it! Bought a rubber case for it off Amazon, negates all the issues I’d likely have with it being so small, slim and easy to pick up the wrong way around. Normally I’d never put a remote in a case lol, I’m caseless for everything.

The OS on my LG is actually good, but there’s the absence of a Apple TV+ app, and having Airplay again is nice (had a 1080p ATV years ago). I’ve wanted to disconnect my LG from the network for ages. It periodically gets updated. I’m completely happy with it as a dumb panel so I’m glad to completely remove the possibility of a rogue update that will lessen the image quality, slow down the OS or worse, brick it.

There’s also the privacy/hacking issue, traditionally dumb appliances that are now IOT are very low hanging fruit. The less devices that have my Apple,Prime & Netflix accounts the better.
Sounds fantastic and that's exactly the approach that we have with our LG OLED TV.
 

satcomer

macrumors 603
Feb 19, 2008
6,437
982
The Finger Lakes Region
Sure, champ. I'm a Computer Information Technology major with two decades of experience working in the technology industry, and have actually bought and tested most of these products that you bash, but I'm the ignorant one.

You are seriously the WORST kind of Apple user. The reason so many people don't take Apple or Apple users like myself seriously when we say they have some good products is because guys like you sound like you belong to some kind of cult.
I was a Network Cisco Tech and hated you computer guys! You couldn’t tell what darn Port is on your computer and aren’t smart enough to read the printing on Ethernet Cables! Plus stick a Linux or Mac Seriver and computer guys seem to get a blank stare on your face! Just knowing one computer system is the best way to get you fired in Today’s Small business economy using Linux Servers because no small business wants to pay the New Yearly Fees of new MicroSoft Server Software!
 

Th3odor3

macrumors regular
Jun 19, 2018
114
14
Santa Clarita, CA, US
I have Apple TV+ on my Roku Premiere streaming device I really like. I also have the Amazon Fire TV Stick and have found no problems using it. I would recommend either device.